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Nuisance ordinance comes home to roost for chicken-loving family and roosters

Andrea Vanvleet Alalawi said she cares for eight rescued chickens which she considers pets. (KSL TV)

RIVERDALE, Utah — A chicken-loving Riverdale family with a long history of raising hens and roosters may find itself a-fowl of the law — or at least a nuisance ordinance, after some neighbors complained. 

The VanVleet family has raised chickens on their property for much of the last 75 years. But on March 30, Lt. Casey Warren with Riverdale police said the department received its first complaint about “roosters are crowing all day, every day.”

Although there’s no ordinance against owning pet chickens within city limits, Warren said the family may face a nuisance ordinance if they don’t remedy the situation. 

Property housing roosters faces nuisance ordinance

The property is currently home to eight rescued chickens, whom owner Andrea VanVleet Alalawi said she considers to be her pets. At first, Alalawi’s mother said the family was told they had a week to get rid of the animals. 

Lt. Warren said the city hopes to find a solution that satisfies both groups: Quieting the noise while allowing the family to keep their feathery friends. 

“We do our best to try to resolve the problem to keep everybody happy,” Warren told KSL TV. “Everyone has to compromise a little bit.”

Although there’s room for a compromise, Alalawi said she wished whoever submitted the complaint came to her directly instead of going to the city. She also told KSL TV she didn’t think the noise was much more of a sound nuisance than nearby road traffic or planes that fly overhead. 

“I wish they would have just come to me and been like, ‘Can you turn them down a little bit somehow?’” Alalawi said. “I would have worked with them.”

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